LEAD — Sunday’s snowy commencement ceremony featured 42 Lead-Deadwood graduates promptly paraded to their seats and got down to the business of graduating.

Principal Tony Biesiot welcomed the crowd gathered to watch their loved ones commence a new chapter in their young lives.

“Individually, you are accomplished in athletics, arts, and academics. As a whole, you represent the talents our community, state, and country and world will rely on for leading us through the 21st Century,” Biesiot said. “So, today, we celebrate the accomplishments of your past and thank you for your contributions to our school and community.”

Senior Class President Zoe Keehn offered a welcome speech, thanking the parents, guardians, and teachers, as well as congratulating and calling her fellow classmen out for sticking with it through the good and the bad times that characterized their school careers.

“We are a class filled with artists, athletes, craftsmen, musicians, and mathletes,” Keehn said. “We are unique. You are all incredibly unique. I look amongst my class, and I am filled with nothing but pride. ... To the students who did not do well in school, the ones that spent most of their time dreading high school and ignoring homework. To the students that failed, over and over again, but still kept pushing and fighting for that diploma, to the quiet kids in the back that never raised their hand first because they were afraid they’d answer wrong … to the kids that endured some of the hardest times these last four years, yet still showed up to the classroom and fought and learned, you made it too. You worked to be here, and I am so proud of you all.”

Biesiot recognized Brianna Pfeiffer-Munoz as valedictorian and Zoe Keehn as salutatorian and presented them with medals for these accomplishments.

Graduating Magna Cum Laude, with a 3.5 GPA or above were: Hunter Gudith, Angelica Jones, Zoe Keehn, Kaitlyn Meade, Will Pearson, Maxx Percy, Brianna Pfeiffer-Munoz, Kaitlynn Zellers.

Graduating Cum Laude, with a 3.0-3.49 GPA were: Kaalieda Allmendinger, Chayton Bower, Trinity Brady, Zoe Frauen, Jasmine Lary, Alexis Martinez, Carter Nelson, Olivia Rogers.

The class enlisted their Physical Education Teacher Will Malde to deliver the commencement address.

Malde said the Class of 2019 accompanied him in his transition from elementary school P.E. to high school and, as he put it, they became freshmen together. In the spirit of P.E.’s best game, Malde likened life to dodgeball: “Your life is going to be full of failures, but it will also be full of successes, as well. Make sure you let each one shape you equally and don’t lose sight of the plan you have in place. In closing, I’ll throw in a quick recap for those of you who maybe snuck in a quick nap or had trouble moving past their own dodgeball glory days, or past horrifying dodgeball experiences. Number one, surround yourself with good people. Number two, work to be the best you can every day. Three, have a plan, even if it’s a small one. And number four, enjoy the peaks and valleys of life, knowing those will continue to shape you into who you were meant to be.”

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